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It’s been a while since I said it but we had cracking last week for the kennel with plenty of winners and two runners qualified for the Category 1 Coral Champion Stakes Final this Friday.
The week started at Nottingham on Monday as Antigua Rum finished 4th in the Puppy Classic Final behind the very impressive Ice On Fire. We couldn’t go with the early pace as expected but Antigua Rum ran on strong and wasn’t beaten that far and a decision was made quickly to step him up asap.
A tremendous 16 race card at Romford on Friday included the semi finals of the Champion Stakes. In the first semi final Aayamza Express had a tough draw in trap 4 but another smash break saw her well clear and it looked like she would win easily but a strong run from Monmore Summer Stayers winner Sheldan had her pulling out all the stops but she held on by 3/4 length in the fastest of the three semis in 35.30. The last semi final was a tough one and all three of our runners faced a tough task. Antigua Vows missed her break and found trouble and she crashed out while Chubbys Caviar broke well but just couldn’t clear the inside runners and was quickly shuffled back through the pack. It was left to our grand servant Saleen Ash to chase the leaders but his effort looked to be in vain until Deanridge Kane in trap 5 pushed Desperado Dan wide off the last turn as they chased eventual winner Swift Tarquin. This move allowed Saleen Ash to nip up the inside and grab the all important second spot albeit over 3 lengths behind the 35.67 winner. That means Saleen Ash qualifies for the final for the second year running and you never know, he was almost favourite last year to win the final and got unlucky but this year he’s likely to go off at a big price.
With the TV Trophy heats on as well it’s going to be a cracking card again and with the big opening of the new grandstand it could be one of those nights that we all in Greyhound racing dream about. We are looking at entering the exciting Bumblebee Bullet and our old stalwart Aayamza Breeze who will be our main contenders. I’m also going to enter Towstar Arry and Glassmoss Sis but they may only get in if they are struggling for entries which could happen as the 925m is a tough distance to get. It's not often said but Aayamza Breeze ran below par last week but hopefully our old girl can raise her game when it matters. Bumblebee Bullet only won a Maiden 750 last week but she powered to the drop and will go into the event with big expectations.
As always it’s a busy time of the year on the open race scene and the East Anglian Derby kicked off with 8 heats last night. Brinkleys Poet couldn’t have got a harder heat and unfortunately went out when 4th while Coolavanny Messi missed his break and was eliminated but Antigua Romeo made sure we still had an interest in the event with an excellent win in 28.06 on a slow track.
There’s plenty more happening over the next few weeks and hopefully we can finish the season with a real bang. We have some lovely new dogs coming into the kennel and though it’s been a tough year for the sport I can see light at the end of the tunnel. The Irish Derby concludes in the next couple of weeks and they are desperate for it to be a great competition as they need to find a way of projecting a new and positive image.
As you know, I’m a sports nut and with the new football season, the Ashes and a Rugby World Cup looming we are in heaven. My favourite sport to watch is the American Football and the NFL season kicks off this weekend. I have a few fancies and will certainly have a bet on the Cleveland Browns @ 14/1, completely ridiculed a few seasons back they turned it round last season and now have a genuine chance of winning the Super Bowl with their brilliant quarter back Buster Mayfield.
A great night Friday at Romford as Aayamza Express took her semi final of the Champion Stakes and Saleen Ash qualified for the second year in succession. We also qualified Silva Hill (400) and both Saleen Again and Chubbys Turkana (575) finals when all were 2nd in their heats. Aayamza Breeze could only finish 5th in a messy 925m invitational and another messy 750m where Avastorm led but got fought by Swift Daniel gave Brigadier Bullet an opportunity to win maybe a shade fortunately in a moderate 48.29. Bumblebee Bullet was more impressive in a 750m Maiden after being held up early she burst through to score comfortably by over 4 lengths in 47.82 while there was an excellent performance from Tiffield Maximus who won the last 750m by over 4 lengths in a very good 47.29.
On Saturday we took three runners to Monmore for their festival races and Antigua Coral was nearly put on the floor in the 480m Maiden but the night got better as Antigua Rum stepping up in distance in a 630m Maiden destroyed a good class field by over 8 lengths in a very good 37.51. The best race of the night was undoubtedly the 684m and billed as a match between Antigua Fire
the fast Magical Icarus but once Antigua Fire broke well and led off the 5th turn it was race over and he drew away to win easily by 5 lengths in an excellent 40.76 just a couple of lengths off the clock.
We also had a couple of nice open race winners at Henlow Sunday as Brinkleys Rosie won a 428m in 25.93 and Busters Bullet took a 550m in a good 33.37.
Just a couple of seconds last Monday but both Towstar Evita and Gully Foyle ran well. On Tuesday we were also out of luck with Energize Bundy coming closest when second on debut.
On Thursday Deans Hail Mary was impressive winning an A4 in 28.00 while on Friday we had a nice treble as youngsters Coasthopper Vic (28.41) Wake Up (28.23) and Playbook (28.13).
A couple of nice winners on Sunday as Jesses Sister took an A6 in good style in 27.86 and Towstar Billy also won well in an A4 in a decent 27.67.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - ANTIGUA FIRE
GRADED - JESSES SISTER
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
All roads lead to Romford this week as Saleen Ash and Aayamza Express go for the Champion Stakes Final while on what promises to be a great card we will have the TV Trophy heats and some more great races.
Henlow should have some opens on a Sunday while Antigua Romeo goes on the second round of the East Anglian Derby at Yarmouth on Monday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Aayamza Express trades as favourite for the Champion Stakes so we can be pleased with ourselves here though Chubbys Caviar was desperately unlucky not to join her in the final.
Brinkleys Poet was a tentative selection in the East Anglian Derby and then got drawn in the toughest heat so no luck there. This week I don’t care what the draw is in the TV Trophy, I want to be on both our Marathon runners Aayamza Breeze and Bumblebee Bullet.
AAYAMZA BREEZE - 2 pts ew ante post - TV Trophy - Romford- starts Friday
BUMBLEBEE BULLET - 2.5 pts ew ante post - TV Trophy - Romford - starts Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AAYAMZA EXPRESS - 2 pts ew ante post 12/1 - Coral Champion Stakes - Romford - Final Friday
CHUBBYS CAVIAR - 2 pts ew ante post 10/1 - Coral Champion Stakes - Romford - lost
BRINKLEYS POET - 2 pts ew ante post 16/1 - East Anglian Derby - Yarmouth - lost